Saturday, December 24, 2016

Opinion #4--"Franken Foods."

Obviously, there are not enough things out there to be afraid of.  We have to invest time and fortunes into making up more.

Too bad we can't have back the resources that were sunk into the Y2k scare.  With the money, time and emotional energy expended in that pop-culture melt-down, maybe we could have defeated Cheeto. 

Or the media-created fuss over ebola two years ago--Americans did not give a rat's ass about ebola until the media chose to intimate that it was on its way to our shores and we were going to begin dying by the millions.  Or the similar paranoia circulated about the damn flu every winter since Big Pharma created the flu virus.  I saw a headline on NPR yesterday--on N flippin' P. R.--about a veterinarian catching a strain of bird flu from infected cats at an animal shelter.  Drag people by the eyeballs into this story, only to report that the person suffered only mild symptoms and recovered fully.  The obvious question is why did this NON-story rate reporting in the first place?  Pure, unadulterated click-bait, to be sure. 

My point is, just because the media hype something and then social media picks it up and runs with it, does not mean it is an actual or credible threat.  One of the most offensive examples of this is the fear of genetically altered foods--the good old GMO's.

I will be the first to declare that the American people need to become more aware of what it is they're putting in their mouths.  Our food chain has become hopelessly poisoned by bad factory-farm processes, excesses of chemical ingredients, and Madison Avenue's penchant for presenting the foods that are the least healthy for us as the most attractive. 

We eat crap--even poison-- in this society.  But the poison is not created through genetic modification, and changing the genetic make-up of a food product has never  been proven to create foods that will make people sick.  Humans have been toying with the genetic make-up of crops practically since we passed out of the hunter/gatherer stage and started putting edible things in the ground near our dwellings on purpose, tending them and harvesting them at our own will.  Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, lived 150 years ago.  So the concept of genetic modification of food crops is not new.   

When "breeding" of food crops took years and many growth cycles, we didn't bat a eyelash at it.  But now that it can be done almost instantaneously in a test tube, we freak out that genetic modification is "not natural" and "not what God--or the Creator or whatever fate-controlling entity you worship--intended"; and that we will be punished by being sickened and dying from these things we have dared to create.  Hogwash.

Don't get me wrong...there's plenty to fear from the likes of Monsanto and Dow and other chemical companies that have taken control of our food production.  But we have to get it right...we have to know exactly what it is we should be afraid of.  Sure... let's wring our hands over what genetically-modified crops may be doing to us.  But not because of how the genes may have been messed with.  Because of the fact that they can now spray entire fields of our food with chemicals that will not kill the corn, only the weeds.  The jury is still out on the effects that consuming those chemicals will have on humans, over time.  I'm pretty sure that research has not even been done. 

And while you're speculating that genetically altered wheat may be the reason so many people seem to have developed a sensitivity to gluten, consider the fact it's accepted practice that entire fields of wheat are sprayed with herbicide before harvest, because the plants actually have to die before the wheat is harvested, and yield is maximized by making sure all the plants are dead at the same time (left to nature, plants mature and die at different rates.)  So our daily bread has likely contained a daily dose of Round-up for decades.

There is caution, and there is panic.  There is informed concern, and there is pop-culture fear-mongering.  Unfortunately, American society is most prone to be too lazy to accept the former, while blindly embracing the latter.   I, for one, am not too keen on being afraid of something simply because it's "too complicated" for me to understand.  That's a cop-out, and one that could ultimately be very, very bad for us indeed.      


No comments:

Post a Comment